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Miracles

  • James KellenbergerEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

Miracles, as acts of God, are prominent in the heritage of the theistic traditions, but religious miracles are also phenomenally present in the experience of contemporary believers. At least many of the epiphanies discussed in earlier chapters, especially high-relief epiphanies but perhaps virtually all the theistic epiphanies that we have presented and considered, are miracles in the religious sense. Paradigmatically, in theistic traditions miracles are due to God’s direct action, as when he provides manna for the people of Israel in the desert (Ex. 16.11–12 and 31). This and many other biblical miracles are intervention miracles. In theistic religious traditions, they occur when God or a being empowered by God intervenes in the natural course of things and disrupts or contravenes the regularity of nature by supernaturally redirecting events. When religious miracles are discussed it is usually intervention miracles that are considered. However, there are religious miracles understood as acts of God that are not interventions. A mark of the religious sense that an event is a miracle, and epiphany as an act of God, is that religious persons thank God for its occurrence. Two other kinds of miracles are contingency miracles and natural miracles. God is religiously given thanks for these kinds of miracles, although neither involves God’s intervention. In this chapter, we discuss the differences between these three types of miracles and present examples of each type as they might be epiphanically received in terms of religious sensibility.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCalifornia State University, NorthridgeNorthridgeUSA

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